I Want to be Like My Parents When I Grow Up

My mom called about a month ago and asked me if I'd like to join her on her Sunday school class' retreat to Tennessee this coming weekend. She didn't have to ask twice. I'm on a jet plane tomorrow a.m. heading East.

I jump at any opportunity I have to visit my parents, whether they come my way or I get the treat of visiting them in the greener section of our country. I'm quite aware these days that my parents are getting older...because I'm quite aware these days that I'M getting older. I savor every opportunity I have to spend with them.

My parents both retired from professions as educators over 20 years ago, and one of the blessings I consistently thank the Lord for is the good health they have enjoyed during their retirement years. Not only has their health allowed them to stay fully engaged in life through their senior years, but it has also ensured that their children and grandchildren have continued to enjoy their presence in our lives.

Dad continues to construct wheelchair ramps for people needing them, go on mission trips with their church, reconstruct an antique car, and tend after a huge yard. My mom still cooks and bakes for families in crisis, visits shut-ins, works her garden and engages with friends. And they both continue to travel, volunteer on election days, complete daily crossword puzzles and play golf. They are healthy and thriving, enjoying life and serving others daily.

I want to do the same.

Recently I read Dr. Richard Furman's Prescription for Life: Three Simple Strategies to Live Younger Longer. He wants me (and you) to have the kind of thriving, healthy and enjoyable senior years my parents have enjoyed...and continue to enjoy. And rather than make it painful and complicated, Dr. Furman boils it down to four key strategies:

But let's get this clear: Dr. Furman hasn't written a book for senior adults. He's written a book for all of us...all ages. He makes it clear that leading a healthy lifestyle in our younger years will produce dividends in our senior years. Of course, the converse is true as well. Life sloppily lived in our younger years will result in less healthy living in our later years as well as a likely reduction in the number of years we even have to live.

While I can't say that I've decided to adopt all of Dr. Furman's advice (simply because I'm stubborn and foolish, like most of us), I have committed to continue to exercise regularly and be more vigilant about maintaining a healthy weight. I've also chosen a few foods to work into mine and my husband's menu more regularly and a few foods to steer clear of. I'll work on a few more foods in each column after I accomplish my initial goals. I get overwhelmed if I try to make too many changes at once.

I especially appreciate that Dr. Fuman is a believer in Jesus Christ and presents his material with the goal of helping us to live longer and fuller lives that glorify God. He doesn't just want us to get in a few more rounds of golf; he wants us to be able to serve the Lord and activitly participate in His church for many, many years. 

My parents have been blessed with full and healthy lives in their retirement years. They are such a blessing to me, the rest of their family, their friends and their church. In many ways I believe they have been able to serve the Lord more passionately and activitely in their 60s and 70s than they could while they had the restraints of children and jobs. I praise the Lord for the gift He's given to my parents in their health, but I also praise Him because I see my parents using that gift to bless others every day.

What are you doing to live a longer, healthier life to the glory of God?

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